By David Owen

Nine network London 2012April 9 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is likely to call a pause in the process of selling Australian broadcasting rights to the next two Olympic Games, due to less than favourable market conditions.

The expected move follows Australian media reports that each of the country's three major free-to-air television networks had pulled out of the race for the right to televise both the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The non-Olympic sport of cricket is hugely popular in the famously sports-crazy nation, and one person with knowledge of the negotiations told insidethegames that this was the market's current focus.

Moreover, this individual added, "the financial people running the networks are holding sway".

The Olympic Movement has done well in recent times out of the Antipodean nation that hosted the Summer Games in 1956 and 2000.

The Nine Network and Foxtel paid a reported $100 million (£66 million/€78 million) for the right to air the Vancouver 2010 and London 2012 Olympics.

Foxtel London 2012Foxtel joined with the Nine Network to cover London 2012 in Australia

Indeed, by insidethegames's own calculations, Australia is perhaps the sole territory where the per capita price of the right to broadcast the Summer Olympics matches or even exceeds the per capita price paid for the United States.

The IOC can afford to play a waiting game, safe in the knowledge that deals struck for broadcasting rights for the 2013-2016 period already exceed $4 billion (£2.6 billion/€3.1 billion).

This puts them significantly above the $3.914 billion (£2.576 billion/€3.034 billion) raised for the four years culminating with London 2012, with a few large territories still unsold.

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